Developing and Testing a Community Policing Social Network in European Cities
Enhancing the feeling of public safety and crime prevention are tasks customarily assigned to the Police. Police departments have, however, recognized that traditional ways of policing methods are becoming obsolete; Moreover, a large number of police department are experiencing budget cuts and are streamlining their operations while they are looking for innovative policing approaches to balance their reductions. The Community Policing philosophy, however, when applied appropriately, leads to seamless collaboration between various stakeholders like the Police, Non-Government Organisations and the communities and provides the opportunity to identify risks, assist in solving problems related to crime, disorder, safety and to crucially contribute to improving the quality of life in local communities.
As an enabler to the above, Social Media and Mobile Apps, due to its high level of infiltration in modern life, constitutes a powerful mechanism which offers additional and direct communication channels for reaching individuals or communities. When the feedback gained via these channels is taken into account by Law Enforcement Agencies in a structured and coordinated manner, these channels can be utilized to improve the citizens’ perception of the Police and to capture individual and community needs.
This paper presents the outcomes of the first trials of the INSPEC2T system (Inspiring CitizeNS Participation for Enhanced Community PoliCing AcTions). The project is funded by the European Commission’s research agenda to bridge the gap between Community Policing as a philosophy and as an organizational strategy, capitalizing on the use of Social Media and Mobile Apps.
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